The Highly Affective teaching of L1 English: a case study in a global context

Submitted by: andy goodwyn
Abstract: L1 teaching, teacher effectiveness, teacher identity, affective teaching, Literature

The concept of the expert teacher has become a global phenomenon [Goodwyn, 2010]. Highly performing jurisdictions [e.g. England, Scotland, Australia, Singapore, USA, China] are developing various and diverse models which seek to recognise and reward the best teachers, enhance their status, maintain their classroom role rather than them turning to management careers. These jurisdictions share the need to attract the best graduates and then retain them as highly effective classroom teachers [Goodwyn, 2016]. These designations are usually awarded through some process of assessment against standards or criteria. Most standards are very generic with only the Highly Accomplished Teachers in the USA being both subject and age phase specific.
One set of descriptors was developed by Hattie in his 2001 meta-analysis. The study will critique these and other such descriptors of expert teaching to evaluate where they may be placed in the cognitive and affective domains. The more general global model of teacher effectiveness has [arguably] become very much focused on the cognitive domain, on teacher ‘performance’ closely related to test results and other measurable outcomes.
This study asks ‘What is a highly affective teaching and what might be a valuable definition’? The, the current working definition is teaching which is in itself emotionally charged and engages students’ emotions in their learning of a topic or concept’.
L1 English is a subject that engages students in developing their understanding of many things but essentially much focus is on language and literature and their inter-relationship. Literary texts were never written to be studied, but are in particular designed to engage readers’ feelings and life experiences. This exploratory case study follows one teacher [who is part of a larger affective teaching project] over the course of several teaching episodes, reflecting on the nature of L1 English, of students’ emotional engagements and of what might characterise highly affective teaching. The research seeks to offer some modest evidence of what teaching is when it is affective and tentative directions for future research.
Goodwyn, A. (2016). Expert Teachers: an International Perspective. London, Routledge.
Goodwyn, A. (2010). The Expert Teacher of English. London, Routledge.
Hattie, J. (2003) Teachers make a difference: what is the research evidence? Paper presented at The Australian Council for Educational Research Conference